- Simple daily activities such as exercise, healthy eating and socializing can help you live longer.
- You can add healthy, science-backed habits to your routine in less than 10 minutes a day.
- Taking a brisk walk, enjoying healthy snacks, or texting a friend all have health benefits.
Living longer doesn’t have to be complicated.
Despite hardcore lifestyle routines for celebrities and the ultra-rich which can add up to long hours and millions of dollars, some of the best health hacks are free and don’t take much time.
Science suggests that a few simple daily habits – including exercise, healthy diet, maintaining social connections and reducing stress – can add decades to your lifespan.
Incorporating even a few of these habits into your daily routine can pay dividends for your long-term health in just a few minutes a day.
Take the stairs
It’s no secret that regular physical activity is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle, and plenty of evidence suggests that being sedentary can be deadly. Guidelines typically recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week75 minutes of intense training or a combination of the two.
But a growing body of research suggests that you can reap some of the health benefits of exercise without spending hours in the gym by taking short breaks to get up and move throughout the day, even if you only add a few thousand steps.
A study showed that a total of approx four to six minutes of heart-pumping movement, spread out throughout the day, was enough to reduce the risk of dying early. Another study found that similar short bursts of intense movement daily can significantly reduce the risk of cancer.
And another recent study found that a lower risk of early death was associated with as little as 11 minutes of aerobic exercise such as walks, vigorous housework, or dancing (which is okay, a little longer than promised, but what’s an extra minute to a long, healthy life?)
Get your muscles fired up with a short plank or wall side
There are clear health benefits associated with aerobic exercise that gets your heart pumping, but strong, healthy muscles are just as important for healthy aging.
There is solid research that a combination of cardio and strength training can be ideal for a long, healthy life.
And while Weight lifting is a great way to build muscle, it is not the only possibility. Exercises such as wall sits and planks have been shown to lower blood pressure, in addition to benefiting strength. These types of movements known as isometric exercise is also low impact on the joints.
Using your own body weight to build strength can help you fit more exercise into your day outside the gym so you can stay active, energetic and durable for decades to come.
Snack on healthy carbohydrates
Good nutrition is another key factor in a healthy life, and you don’t need to overhaul your entire life (or kitchen). Instead of a restrictive meal plan, dieticians recommend add more foods to your diet in the form of carbohydrate-rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.
Whole plant foods are high in vitamins and minerals as well fiber, a type of carbohydrate associated with a lower risk of fatal diseases such as bowel cancer. Some of the longest-lived people in the world eat plenty foods with a high fiber content such as beans, seeds and vegetables.
To add a boost of nutrients without extra prep work, reach for it healthy snack options such as berries with dark chocolate, trail mix with dried fruit and nuts or cottage cheese with vegetables and whole grain biscuits.
Enjoy some coffee, tea and dark chocolate
There is also evidence that other plant-based micronutrients such as polyphenols and antioxidants may also have a protective effect against chronic disease.
Some of the richest sources of these nutrients may already be in your pantry in the form of your favorite beverages or sweets.
Coffee contains a host of compounds that can help prevent heart disease and other ailments. Both green tea and black tea is loaded with similar beneficial substances, so an afternoon cup of your favorite brew is definitely good for your health.
For good measure, round it off by a bit dark chocolate for an even bigger boost of heart-healthy flavonoids. Mmm, science.
Reach out to a friend or loved one
A surprising source of persistent health problems in the United States is a lack of social connections, new evidence suggests Loneliness can be as bad for your long-term health as smoking.
Some of longest living and most active elderly on the planet point to a strong sense of community as a source of energy, motivation and a continued sense of youth. One 96-year-old athletefor example, swearing by daily phone calls with friends and family to keep mentally and physically alive.
While it takes work To maintain good relationships, regular communication is keyaccording to experts.
There is even one scientific way to become a better friend — taking time to share what’s on your mind, as well as listening with your undivided attention to your loved ones, can help you create and maintain lasting connections.
Take a deep breath
Stress may feel inevitable, but too much of it can seriously mess with your well-being, worsen your heart health, disrupt your immune system, and even make it harder to maintain other good habits like a nutritious diet and regular exercise.
While you probably can’t eliminate every source of stress in your life, deceptively easy techniques can make it easier to manage, according to science.
Breathing, or taking conscious time to focus on your inhales and exhales, has been shown to be a effective strategy to reduce stress. Just five minutes a day of breathing exercises can provide significant relief from everyday stressors, and even lower your blood pressure.
NOW WATCH: Top Videos from Insider Inc.